Blue Birdie Panther Creek Country Club, 3001 Panther Creek Drive, has a lovely, picturesque golf course - and the clubhouse isn't bad, either. Let's face it, the course is a little challenging and it can be frustrating.
With the amount of liquor and liqueur in an Asian Ecstasy, it's clear a designated driver is in order. If you are seeking that warm, fuzzy feeling -- and if you have a D.D. -- head for Ginger Asian Bistro, 3100 West White Oaks Drive. Head mixologist Lynne Woodrum can make some interesting, unusual and tasty drinks at a moment's notice.
It's almost time for the Illinois State Fair and corn dogs and lemon shake-ups. While the lemon shake-up is the fair refreshment of choice, why not indulge in the adult version at Augie's Front Burner?
Sometimes pounding a beer with the jukebox blaring is just the thing, and sometimes a little quiet reflection with some sophisticated ambience is what's needed. Stop by Remy's, 225 E. Monroe St. It's just the place for jazz, class and cocktails. It's the kind of place where Marilyn Monroe could hang with her favorite gent. Drop by, soak up the atmosphere and have proprietor Matt Schwartz whip up a Marilyn Monroe martini. It's a little sweet, a little colorful, a little dry and very sophisticated.
Wouldn't a frozen margarita be tasty right now? OK, so it's cold outside, but a frozen mango or pineapple margarita would sunny things right up - like a nice, bright tropical burst. Escape the dreary winter blues by remembering it's sunny somewhere, and a frozen margarita would go a long way to help that feeling. Drop by Café Brio at 524 E. Monroe St. and sample one of their premier frozen margaritas. They serve 13 kinds of margaritas and highlight a different frozen one each day. Think sun, island time and tropical breezes and grab yourself a bar stool. Here's how to make one and, because you can't drink just one and you should spread the sunshine, this recipe makes a pitcher.
If drinking makes you drowsy, why not mix some coffee into your drink? Admittedly, coffee in a martini sounds like it might taste nasty. However, the only nasty about Paul Pearman's Chocolate Carmel Expresso Martini is the headache that might result from drinking too many. Who can resist a drink with enough panache to stand up to drizzled chocolate sauce? Head on over to the Corner Pub, 3217 W. Iles Ave. and try one.
A pomegranate is one of those chic fruits. So are cranberries. Blueberries earn high praise from dietitians for their antioxidants. Luckily, fruit can be combined into tasty drinks. Professional mixologist Doug McCowan at Jimmy Oh's, 3241 W. Iles Ave., makes a fruity martini designed to make everyone sit up and swear berries are the best.
Summer has breathed its last gasp; people are actually starting to talk about Christmas shopping and you just want to enjoy fall and that little bit of chill in the air. Hey, the tables are still outside at Robbie's on the Old State Capitol Plaza -- why not stop and have Arch Bailey mix you up a margarita?
Some days you just want to get away and hide out somewhere. But for adults, that's tough - all that job and responsibility stuff just weighs you down. We suggest holing up with an adult beverage at Sebastian's Hideout, 221 S. Fifth St., for a brief respite from reality. Niki Herr can mix you up a Hot & Dirty Martini. The base is Absolut Peppar. The first of the flavored vodkas, it was introduced in 1986 and is a fiery, complex blend of peppers. It makes the martini potent and a little bit sassy.
Who knew? Meade, ice cream and Kahlua is downright tasty. Have Geoff Benshoof at Bennigans, at Seventh and Adams streets, show you his mix-master skills by whipping up an Irish Mudslide. You needn't be Irish to enjoy it. It's like a pint of whipped cream and chocolatey goodness with an adult alcohol kick. Drag out the blender and let's begin:
If you're a real coffee connoisseur, chances are you want only the best in your morning cup. Lucky for you, there are quite a few places in town that provide some scrumptious beans you can grind yourself.
It's practically summer -- that means fruit, fun and flip-flops. You'll have to find your own flip-flops, but Bennigan's, Seventh and Adams streets, can help with the fruit and the fun. They've got a Wildberry Martini that could knock your socks -- or your flip-flops -- off. And hey, its got juice in it, so it has to be good for you, right?
Springfield is renowned for many things, and the capital city really does have a drink with absolutely nothing Lincoln about it except for the location. The President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center, 701 E. Adams St., has a little pub at street level called The Globe. Bar manager Kathleen Hunter can whip you up a fine sippin' drink that will give you a nice warm glow before you head out into the world again.
There are many kicks along Route 66, and even driving it is a kick. If you want a drink with a kick on Route 66, go to the Globe Tavern, 701 E. Adams St., located at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center. Sit in the street-level casual atmosphere and watch the world go by. Served in a chilled martini glass, a Route 66 Kick is a sublime study of lemony bliss. But a word of warning: More than one kick is not advised unless you've got a designated driver for the rest of the route.
At Charles and Limey's, 620 S. First St., the ambience is a mixture of English pub and friendly Jamaican bar. Enjoy the atmosphere and have bartender Bill Mabie Jr. whip you up the bar's signature drink, a Charles Tini. This lovely green concoction packs a wallop, so drink with care. Rum, tequila, banana schnapps, melon liqeur and curacao mix to make a potent rum-and-fruit libation.